Monday, April 18, 2011

Project:// patio

When we built our house, the original plans included an outdoor room (a.k.a 'alfresco') where the slab and the roof line extended.  Due to the shape of our block, we couldn't build over the easement that runs along the rear boundary, so had to have the outdoor room removed.  We also changed the orientation of the sliding glass doors in the Dining room so instead of both sliding doors opening onto the same area (facing the rear fence where the outdoor room would have been), the Dining room doors now open towards the side, which is where the majority of our backyard space is.

Since we moved in we have designed what we wanted to do with the outdoor area but budget restrictions meant we couldn't actually do anything about it.  Our original plans were to build a deck to wrap around the house and join the areas out both doors.  After measuring the area we found that 31m2 of decking would be out of the question in terms of price (talking multiple thousand dollars) considering we would need joists, bearers and decking boards, and because the area isn't square there would be a lot of extra pieces needed for support.  Following the front deck experiment where we laid decking over the existing concrete slab, we decided if we were to deck out the back, concreting and decking would be a much cheaper option, because the concrete would form the foundation, and is a lot cheaper than the bearers and joists (and no permit is needed).  After debating about creating 2 separate spaces rather than the wrap-around single area we decided we would keep the original shape because it would be a more versatile area and solves the problem of what to put in the space between them.
I wasn't completely sold on the decking though, because I really like the look of sandstone pavers/tiles in a natural finish, and I think this option may work out cheaper and less maintenance than the decking.  Anyway, it was decided that we would put down the concrete slab and decide how to finish it later (if we ever get around to it).  With winter fast approaching we decided we would ideally like the concrete to go down ASAP so we reduce the amount of mud that comes into the house, and that the girls can go outside and play if the weather isn't too wet.  We've already been here for 2 winters with no ground cover out there so it's time to act.
This past weekend my dad and my better half dug out, put up the boxing and cut the steel ready for the concrete.  Here is hubby shifting some of the soil:

Granted there is a little bit of finishing required to some spots of the ground (take off some high points and fill in some low spots) but this is what the finished shape will look like.
Whole area:
Out the Dining room doors:
 Out the Family room doors:

Hopefully by the end of next week there will be crushed rock in the base and then a truck can come and deliver the glorious grey liquid.  I can't wait!!!

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